Monday, October 9, 2017

Norton's October Adventure

I've spent all of Friday and Saturday fretting over this little fellow:  

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Photo: Chronica Domus


I last saw him darting out of the balcony door as I sat down to dinner with my family on Thursday evening.  Our little friend Norton is both an indoor and outdoor cat and spends most of his waking hours in the garden basking in the sunshine and keeping company with another feral stray that took up residence there a few years ago.  At dusk, he makes his way into the house for cuddles and then onto bed.   Occasionally, he is nowhere to be seen when we turn in so remains outdoors overnight, greeting us first thing in the morning with a "meow" that signifies it is time for breakfast.

Norton failed to appear on Friday morning but I didn't think much of it.  However, by Friday night my usual sunny disposition took a backseat to an uncomfortably uneasy feeling that something was not quite right.  After fruitlessly searching the neighborhood on foot and knocking on neighbors' doors, my husband and I drove to the nearest animal shelter in case someone had found him and dropped him off.

I cannot express enough how terribly gut-wrenching that experience was.  Being guided through four very packed "Lost and Found" rooms of surrendered or stray animals while searching for Norton was nothing short of depressing.  Animals housed in the smallest imaginable metal cages, stacked one on top of the other, with no human contact ("No Touching Allowed" signs are everywhere), was more than I could handle.  I was moved to tears.  Asking the animal technician about those poor creatures, we learned that the animals are held for four days, then medically and temperamentally assessed before being "processed" for adoption.  Some, unfortunately, never see the light of day again.  The dogs were housed separately so I can't speak to them, but the animals we saw were mainly kittens and cats, rabbits and, would you believe it, chickens.  Frankly, I was taken aback - nay shocked - at how many grown rabbits had ended up in this pitiful place.  I imagine most were given to children at Easter and discarded once fully grown by parents coming to the realization that these adorable sentient creatures require care and attention and are not just trinkets to be included in their child's Easter basket.

I fully understand that animal shelters do wonderful work for the thousands of homeless animals and former pets that require rehousing.  However, the very fact they exist at all speaks volumes about our attitude towards animals.  I can only implore those that wish to add an animal companion to their lives to please consider adoption first, to spay or neuter (I shan't soon forget the sight of a nursing mother cat and her litter of kittens crammed into one of those metal cages at the shelter), and to know that animal companions are for life.  Some, in fact, are destined to outlive us so provisions for their care should be considered long before we've shuffled off this mortal coil.

Not finding Norton at the shelter was encouraging.  Perhaps he'd just strayed from home and lost his way and would take a little longer than usual to return.  By Saturday night, however, that glimmer of hope was rapidly fading.  He'd never before strayed from home for three consecutive nights.  Would I ever have the pleasure of seeing his sweet little face again?

Worry had kept me up most of the night.  Before anyone else in the household was awake, I headed outdoors to scour the neighborhood once again.  As I was about to leave, I was met at the door by Norton.  I momentarily imagined I had seen him, like some feline phantasm, but no, it really was Norton.  He let out his familiar "meow" greeting which was just enough to convince me that my mind was not playing tricks on me. At long last, Norton had returned, cold and hungry but seemingly unharmed. What a glorious Sunday surprise!

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Norton safely tucked into his basket after breakfast on Sunday morning ...
Photo: Chronica Domus


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...and, still snoozing later on Sunday afternoon
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As I sit here at the breakfast room table tapping away at my keyboard on Monday morning, Norton is nearby keeping me company.  He's been indoors for over twenty-four hours and, I think he likes it that way.  At least for now.  I wonder what it was that kept him from us for so many nights, and where his travels took him, and what he saw?  I joked to my husband that his disappearance must have been a celestial trick. After all, Norton did fail to return home on Thursday evening, the night of October's orange Harvest Moon which, for those that saw it, was spectacularly large, hanging low over the night sky.

Whatever caused our dear little friend to take his leave of us, we are full of joy at his safe return and most grateful to be reunited.  I only wish those dear little animals at the shelter also find good homes to live out the remainder of their lives.  Our pets sure do have a way of giving us a few gray hairs.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Visit To Hyde Hall

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Photo: Chronica Domus

Secreted away within Glimmerglass State Park's rolling woodland, and just at the edge of picturesque Otsego Lake, you'll find one of America's finest neoclassical country houses, and one which I had the distinct pleasure of visiting earlier this summer.

As you can see from the photograph above, although Hyde Hall could easily be mistaken for a nobleman's pile set deep within the English or Irish countryside, this splendid nineteenth century limestone house does indeed sit prettily in upstate New York, just eight miles from Cooperstown.  To be perfectly fair, Hyde Hall does have a strong association with England as the man who built it, George Clarke (1768-1835), was indeed English.  The architect, Philip Hooker, hailed from nearby Albany.

Built between 1817 - 1834 with inherited money from his namesake great grandfather, George Clarke turned Hyde Hall into the crown jewel of his sprawling 120,000 acre estate.  Successive generations of the Clarke family, many of them also named George, lived happily in the house until the 1940's. In 1955, Thomas Hyde Clarke (b. 1936) inherited the estate but failed to keep it in the family when the state of New York claimed the house and 600 surrounding acres by eminent domain so as to create a state park.  Shockingly, with no funds available for the house's upkeep, demolition loomed.  If it were not for the tireless efforts of The Friends of Hyde Hall, a group which formed in 1964 to save the house and make it available for the enjoyment of the public, Hyde Hall would most certainly not have survived.  What a travesty that would have been!  Today, Hyde Hall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to visitors from the end of May through October.

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Photo: Chronica Domus

Our mid-morning tour began at this charming 1820's structure known as the Tin Top Gatehouse. Originally located at the entrance of Glimmerglass State Park, the gatehouse was moved to its current location in 1974 and has benefited from recent restoration efforts to convert it to a visitor center.  It was here that we met our guide, Gary, who delighted in showing us around the house and its grounds.

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Say hello to Gary our erudite guide
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What I really enjoyed most about poking around this enormous mansion, and what sets it apart from many other historic house museums I have visited, is that Hyde Hall is far from being "done up", by any stretch of the imagination, and that's just fine with me.  As one who enjoys and appreciates the painstakingly involved processes of restoration and renovation, and all the minutiae revolving around such ventures, it was a rare treat to have an opportunity of viewing first-hand the numerous projects currently underway throughout the house.  

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Hyde Hall's entry door is flanked by four enormous columns
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Let's start at the front door.  Unfortunately, I missed photographing the tilted bollards either side of the entrance steps as I could not wait to cross the iron threshold.  Obviously, my photo-journalistic skills are in great need of improvement.  In my defense, my enthusiasm to see Hyde Hall did, I admit, get the better of me. Gary explained that the bollards prevented chipping and damage to the limestone from the procession of carriages that deposited the family and their guests at the front door. In turn, the bollards themselves are tilted inwards, thereby preventing damage to the carriages' wheel hubs.

Once inside, I was so distracted and absorbed by the many details of the entrance hall that I immediately fell behind our little tour group of five as I snapped away with my camera.  As such, I failed to take detailed photographs of the drawing room. Oops!

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The Scottish drum-head tall case clock makes a bold statement in the entrance hall
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Another splendid detail of the entrance hall is this recently installed, over-sized, early-nineteenth century Argand lantern, restored to perfection and mounted on a pulley for ease of lighting
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Although costly Brussels carpets or other floor coverings are nowhere in sight, one must obviously do one's best to remove mud from one's boots upon entering the house, done with the aid of a portable iron boot scrape and a rather charming long-handled bristle contraption
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The only photograph I managed to take of the drawing room, as I raced to catch up with Gary and the group, was the image you see below showing one of a pair of fanciful gilded valances likely made by Lawton Annesley of Albany, New York, a dealer in mirrors and picture frames.  The ceilings in this room are a neck-cracking nineteen feet high.  One can only imagine how many yards of fabric were required to make the curtains for this room.

Acanthus and anthemion motifs give off a distinctly Greek vibe to this
beautifully carved and gilded valance
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On the other side of the entrance hall is the grand dining room.  As you can see, the room is in the midst of an extensive renovation project so all the furniture, which is original to the house, was under wraps.

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The two vapor-light chandeliers, purchased in 1833, dominate the dining room
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A large part of the project focuses around the restoration of the walls, specifically the removal of the Victorian color scheme.  In a historic house such as Hyde Hall this involves much more work than simply painting over an unwanted color.

Here's what the dining room looked like before the restoration project began

With the addition of sparkly mica and black pigment mixed into a lime wash, the room will again appear as it did in 1830.  The resulting wall surface should match the marbleized original finish of the nearby drawing room and entrance hall walls.

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Photo: Chronica Domus


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A view of the dining room's window shutters draped with protective plastic sheeting
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Hyde Hall is so large that I had a difficult time keeping track of the floor plan.  From what I could determine the main house, known as the Great House, the section into which we entered, is just one of three which comprise the whole.  The Great House was built between 1828 - 1833 and includes the entertaining rooms of Hyde Hall.  The oldest part of the house, built in 1817, was once a free-standing south facing stone structure.  That section of the house includes the family living quarters which spans ten rooms. The third part of the house is where the service quarters and second floor bedrooms are located.  Over time, as Hyde Hall was extended, a central courtyard emerged. Here it is, seen in the photograph below:

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The central courtyard can be glimpsed through the window of the smaller family dining room
which is in the original 1817 part of the house
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A stylish solution to heating the family dining room
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I was smitten with the dozen armchairs and side chairs found in the family dining room, 
carved with a pretty leaf motif and made by John Meads, a leading local cabinetmaker, in 1819
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As the name implies, the family dining room is where the family ate their everyday meals.  The room is a far more intimate space than the grand dining room.  Notice too that unlike the rooms of the Great House, with their marbleized walls which give off a rather chilly appearance, this room is painted in a warm apricot color.  I like the family dining room because of  the way it is furnished, and for the beautiful window which looks out onto the central courtyard.  I also think the view into the room, which I captured below, is particularly appealing thanks in no small part to the handsome fanlight.  One is instinctively drawn to the light-filled room after travelling along a dark and narrow corridor.

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I loved the fanlight atop the door which leads into the small family dining room
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I can't quite recall how I ended up behind the family dining room but once there, I was tempted to rest for a moment at this lovely little table where a game of backgammon was in progress:

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The backgammon board appears to be fashioned in the form of a book
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Truly lost within the maze of rooms at this stage of the tour, I believe the next room I stumbled into was George Clarke's office.  Here it is complete with some "updates":

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A view into George Clarke's office
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Notice the heavy Tudoresque ceiling beams installed by a later descendant of George Clarke
and quite out of period to the rest of the architecture in the 1817 portion of the house
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Wandering past other rooms, including a chapel, formerly Mrs. Clarke's bed chamber and sitting room, we found this pretty and airy room.

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A cozy spot for tea in front of the outer library's fireplace
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One of a pair of restored Argand lamps that flank the outer library's mantelshelf
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This room is part of a two-room library where twin banks of mahogany bookcases stand.  These were commissioned by George Clarke from a local cabinetmaker.

This is one of two green baize-fronted mahogany bookcases which grace the inner and outer libraries, made by cabinetmaker Thaddeus Lacy, circa 1820 - 1821, in nearby Cooperstown
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These rooms, whose walls are painted in a cheery apple-green tone, are flooded with natural light which might explain why the bookcases are fronted with green baize.  As you can imagine, owning a sizable collection of leather-bound books must have cost a pretty penny in Mr. Clarke's day so their protection was paramount to both their enjoyment and longevity.

Again, the layout of this house has proved entirely perplexing to my recollections but onto the service wing we go.

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This is one of my favorite views of the interior of Hyde Hall
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To access the upstairs bed chambers, one must ascend this lovely tiger maple wooden staircase with its newly installed ingrain carpet.

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Photo: Chronica Domus


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The glorious detail of the tiger maple staircase was not lost on me
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Once upstairs the jumble of rooms became a blur to my excited mind.  All hope of photographically recording any of it was lost when our guide took our small group into the bed chamber, located above the Great House's portico. This is what I saw:

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The supremely beautiful and tranquil view from the bed chamber
whose railing was made by Amos Fish of Albany, New York in 1833
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Surely, this was Arcadia.  All I could think of doing was pulling up a chair and breathing in the stunning vista before me. Is it any wonder Mr. Clarke selected this remote spot, at the edge of Otsego Lake and the wooded hills beyond, to build his magnificent house?

My poor husband had to nudge me out of the room when it was time to resume the final portion of our tour, so transfixed was I by the view.  Ah well, down the stairs we go.

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Looking down the main staircase showing the elliptical half-curves of its design - interestingly, several of the balusters are grained and painted to resemble the handrail's mahogany wood
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I'm not sure where this delightful curved door leads, positioned beneath the main
staircase, but I desperately wanted to peek inside
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The service quarters of Hyde Hall were brimming with exciting developments.  It is here that much work is underway to restore the kitchen and housekeeper's room to how it appeared in 1835.

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Is there anything more thrilling to behold than the sight of equipment being readied 
for an army of plasterers and carpenters to work their magic?
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An adjoining room being readied for restoration
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The room you see below, which held the family's china and porcelain - some of which would normally reside on the dining table of the great dining room but has been mothballed until that restoration project is complete - was lined with the most charmingly detailed shelving.

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What a beautiful profile!
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I spy pieces of old Paris Porcelain in among the pewter plates
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Oh how I too could benefit from an entire room dedicated to the storage of  
overflowing collections of dining accoutrements
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Alas, finding our way back into the entrance hall heralded the conclusion of our visit. This had certainly been a fascinating amble through a house that is steadily reverting to the beacon of beauty she had so long ago been.  I look forward to an encore visit once the dust has settled.

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Photo: Chronica Domus

Do please consider stopping by Hyde Hall the next time you find yourself in the Cooperstown, New York area. The formidable efforts of those responsible for the ongoing restoration of this historic house should be commended.  It really is rather special.

Hyde Hall
267 Glimmerglass State Park
Cooperstown
New York, 13326


Monday, September 11, 2017

If I Can't Have Orange Sweet Peas, I'll Take Orange Potatoes!

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Prince of Orange potatoes aglow in September's golden light
Photo: Chronica Domus


You might recall my recent post describing my fruitless attempts at growing orange colored sweet peas, found here, and how the variety called Prince of Orange turned out to be nothing more than a very pretty shade of pink.  Well, last Saturday morning while trolling the groaning farmers' market stands stocked with late-summer produce, I noticed a different Prince of Orange.  Wait a minute! Did I really just clap eyes upon an orange-hued potato?  Indeed I did, and here's the proof:

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I was delighted to unload my market basket with the spoils of the morning, including this brown paper bag, overflowing with some very photogenic orange-hued potatoes
Photo: Chronica Domus


Wouldn't you just know it, these earthy tubers, no bigger than a few inches in length, are the most flavorful potatoes I've had the pleasure of sampling in quite a while.  And, yes, they really are orange!
Their interior is equally delightful to the eye, possessing a glorious sunny-yellow flesh. Prince of Orange might very well be the most strikingly handsome spud of them all.

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What a lovely surprise to discover that Prince of Orange's interior is as colorful as its skin
Photo: Chronica Domus


I prepared the potatoes simply, so that their delicious, creamy flavor might remain front and center. Boiled, then coated in extra virgin olive oil and chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, a liberal sprinkling of salt, and a few cracks of the pepper mill, and my princely potatoes were ready for the table.  Need I say it, they were heavenly!

Having frequented the farmers' markets in my area for many years, I remain perpetually awestruck by the range of unfamiliar fruit and vegetable varieties, both modern and heirloom, that are cultivated by our local farmers.  How grateful I remain for their steadfast toil and dedication in delivering their glorious fresh bounty to market, well before the sun comes up so that we, their appreciative fans, are able to eat so well.

Can you recall the last time you sampled an unfamiliar yet enjoyable variety of vegetable or fruit?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

You Say Tomayto ...

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There's nothing quite like the taste of home-grown tomahtoes
Photo: Chronica Domus


... I always say "tomahto".  Despite the fact that I've lived in the United States for well over two decades, I cannot - with a straight face - say "tomayto".  It's just never going to happen!  Whichever preference you may have as to pronunciation, tomatoes are among summer's greatest pleasures.  I am, of course, referring to those perfectly sun-ripened fruits, just at the pinnacle of freshness, bursting with sweet, juicy flavor. I'm just mad for them!

Tomatoes happen to be one of my favorite foods and I would eat them by the bucket load, year round, if I could.  I have, however, come to the conclusion that the old adage "all good things come to those who wait" holds much truth, particularly when it comes to the consumption of tomatoes.  Out of season, well, it's really just not the same.

During the month of August, and into September, the farmers' market is awash with tomatoes in a multitude of colors and shapes.  The red tomato of my youth is there alright, but so is the yellow and orange, brilliant scarlet, and the deepest, darkest maroon.  Believe it or not, there's even a vibrant stripey green variety.  It really is a mad, mad, tomato world out there ready for eatin'.

I adore tomatoes so much that although I am no fan of artificial air fresheners and scents, and believe these manufactured fragrances are wholly unnecessary (just open a window for the best type of air known to mankind), I did once succumb to this:

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Yes, it really does smell of tomato leaves!
Photo: Chronica Domus


The astute noses at Floris, England's oldest retailer of toiletries and scent, and Royal Warrant holders since 1820, somehow managed to trap the delicate aroma of tender tomato leaves within a bottle.  It really is rather marvelous as a single squirt fills one's room with the promise of everlasting summer. I binge purchased six bottles of the stuff on a shopping expedition to Floris' charming outpost on Jermyn Street several years ago and I am so glad that I did.  Not long after, the entire Tomato Leaf range was discontinued.  I am, sadly, down to my last remaining bottle.  No matter, I could always grow the real thing I suppose, and that's exactly what I did earlier in the spring.

It dawned on me in April that I had failed to plant tomatoes in my vegetable patch for the past few years.  Correcting the error of my ways, I came home one morning from the farmers' market with a lone four inch potted seedling labeled "Black Cherry Heirloom".  Into the soil it went.  A few weeks later, emboldened by the seedling's rapid growth, I planted another. This one was identified as "White Currant Heirloom".

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The heirloom Black Cherry tomato plant photographed in July
Photo: Chronica Domus


By mid-July, both plants were thriving and had scrambled far beyond their support structures reaching an impressive height of six feet.  I picked my first tomatoes at the beginning of August. Here they are:

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The first batch of tomatoes  ...
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... went straight into the salad bowl moments after picking
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It is now the end of August and both tomato factories are humming along in full production mode. The more the plants continue to mature, the sweeter and more flavorful the fruits become, and the deeper their color.  What a pleasure and a privilege it is to be able to step into the garden and gather up the fruits of one's labor. The following photograph shows last Saturday afternoon's pickings, enjoyed as part of an early dinner at home with friends. I made a simple chopped Caprese salad using summer's Holy Trinity of ingredients - the just-picked garden tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy mozzarella.  The salad was enthusiastically devoured by all.

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My garden trug is full once again with tasty tomatoes and happily, there's no end of them in sight!
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Won't you please help yourself?
There's not much to compare to the simple pleasure derived from popping a perfectly
ripened, home-grown tomato straight into one's mouth moments after picking
Photo: Chronica Domus


Do you savor the flavor of summer's deliciously sweet tomahtoes and if so, do you have a favorite way of preparing them?  Please, do tell, no matter your pronunciation preference.




Nota bene: I am neither paid nor do I receive recompense in exchange for applauding products or services within my blog.  I do so because I enjoy them.  If you are a kindred spirit, you too enjoy recommending nice things to fellow good eggs.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Visit To Boscobel

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A view of Boscobel House's sublime façade
Photo: Chronica Domus


It was hot and humid the afternoon my family and I arrived in Garrison, New York last month. The mercury hovered around the 85 degree Fahrenheit mark.  None of this really mattered, mind you, for the sublime beauty of both Boscobel House and its environs far eclipsed any discomfort we might have felt under the collar.

Boscobel, which was built for States and Elizabeth Dyckman between 1804 - 1808, is an extraordinarily scrumptious house done up to a fare-thee-well.  It is furnished with a staggeringly extensive and jaw-droppingly gorgeous collection of American Federal furniture and decorative arts. I was left swooning at every turn. Gazing upon Boscobel's delightfully airy and delicate façade, I could not help but be reminded of the prettiest opera houses and theaters with their balconies, billowing curtains, and swags. I don't think there's another house quite like it anywhere. 

Meandering through Boscobel's herb garden to reach the main house, I am stopped in my tracks by the most picture-perfect orangery imaginable.  Oh, how my inner-gentlewoman gardener would so adore having one of these beauties in her own modest garden.  Alas, there is little room to accommodate such a horticultural fantasy but what a pleasure it was to be visiting this one.

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The clapboard and brick orangery is surrounded by plantings of culinary and 
medicinal herbs and flowers 
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Hollyhocks appear like towering giants against the orangery's pint-sized dimensions
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The rose garden, located just behind the house, is adorned with
several metal benches - this one resembled the one in my own garden
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This is the view from the rose garden, where the verdant Hudson River Valley can be admired
(West Point Military Academy is just visible to the right)
Photo: Chronica Domus 


Before our guided tour began, we had time to view the special exhibition in the gallery. Make-Do's: Curiously Repaired Antiques features a sizable portion of Andrew Baseman's intriguing collection of inventively repaired ceramic and glass articles. Each piece has been restored using either bits of tin, metal staples, or molded silver deeming the object useful, once again, to its owner.  What a refreshing concept to ponder in our modern throw-away age.  If you too are interested in viewing this marvelous assemblage of oddities, you have ample time ahead of you to plan your visit.  The exhibition runs until October 1.

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Long before Super Glue and two-part epoxy were invented, items such as those in the
photograph above were repaired using metal staples, pieces of tin, or molded silver
Photo: Chronica Domus


At 1 p.m. our little group gathered at the foot of Boscobel's front steps where we listened attentively to our guide as she explained how Boscobel came to be a house museum.

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I was fascinated to discover that the building had been saved from demolition in 1955 by the efforts of a group called Friends of Boscobel and Lila Acheson Wallace, co-founder of Reader's Digest. Mrs. Wallace provided much of the funding required to save Boscobel and move it from its original location in Montrose, New York. She was also an influential force behind its decoration.  Many years later, Berry Tracy, the curator of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, reinterpreted the decorative scheme to reflect a more authentic Federal interior.  And, what a stupendous interior that is! Let's go inside.

Stepping into the cool, front entry hall, one is immediately struck by the scale and detail of the airy space.

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The large entry hall not only welcomed guests of the Dyckman family but was also used 
for dances and musical recitals, and on occasion for dinner parties
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Painted oilcloth was often used as a protective water-resistant floor covering in the
eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries especially in high traffic areas
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Berry Tracy was responsible for acquiring much of the Federal period furniture in the house.  Outside of a major decorative arts museum, I don't believe I've seen a collection quite so extensive.  Pieces by noted cabinetmakers Charles Honore Lannuier, Michael Allison, and Duncan Phyfe grace every room.

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Boscobel's rooms are sumptuously decorated and furnished with Federal
period furniture and decorative arts
(note more of Andrew Baseman's repaired ceramics displayed upon the mantelshelf)
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Can you imagine the fun of dining by candlelight in such an exquisitely decorated room?
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It is not only the public rooms of the house that are outfitted so well.  The photographs below show a more domestic-oriented space which was used by the household staff to store the family's glassware and ceramics.  This room was also where hot and cold beverages were prepared, and where the paraphernalia involved in the preparation of such drinks was kept.  I must admit, as much as I adore poking around the more formal rooms of such house museums, it is often the domestic spaces which most intrigue me.

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All the best households utilized plate warmers which were positioned in front of
a roaring fire until their contents were warm to the touch
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Silver serving dishes, candlesticks, and Argand lamps sit atop a mahogany tray
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More of Andrew Baseman's repaired antiques are seen on the mantelshelf and table
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Heading upstairs, I discover that the wooden handrail is elegantly supported by several iron balusters.

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The view from the second floor
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The bedchambers, all three of them, are kitted out with more period furniture and accessories.  A refreshing slumber could be had by anyone so fortunate as to spend a night in one of these comfortable rooms.

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The bedchamber's fireplace kept the chill at bay as did the brass bed warmer
which was slipped between the sheets in advance of the occupant
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No detail has been overlooked in the decoration of the bedchambers including 
the linen press, chock-full of crisp white linens to dress the bed
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My favorite formal room in the house was States Dyckman's magnificent library.  It took my breath away.  I really should have packed the smelling salts.

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The perfect storm of wall color, rush matting, and furniture had me 
panting for breath as I stepped into this sublime room
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Would you believe the body of this incredible chandelier is made from a single piece of 
carved and gilded wood?
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Had I the resources and space, this is a room I would gladly replicate in my 
own house
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The upstairs library holds a fraction of States Dyckman's book collection which is housed in an impressive and handsome mahogany secretary bookcase believed to have been made by Duncan Phyfe, circa 1810 - 1820.

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This is son Peter Dyckman's bedchamber which features a bed built in Duncan Phyfe's workshop
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If I were Peter, I'd have a difficult time leaving the comfort of my fireside chair
(Oh look, there's more of Mr. Bateman's repaired ceramics parading along the mantelshelf)
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Our tour was rapidly drawing to a close but not before our guide showed us into one final room, the kitchen.   

Chronica Domus
Photo: Chronica Domus


It is here that we are treated to some of Boscobel's warm hospitality in the form of refreshing lemonade and delicious cookies.

Chronica Domus
Thirst quenching cups of lemonade and sweet treats are offered to Boscobel's
appreciative visitors
Photo: Chronica Domus


What a hospitable and welcoming gesture, and a delightful way to wrap up a most enjoyable tour.  So much more civilized than exiting through a gift shop, would you not agree?

Now that I've had the good fortune to visit this fine house, I fully understand Mrs. Lila Acheson Wallace's philanthropic urge to save it.  Boscobel is nothing short of a jewel.


Boscobel House and Gardens
1601 Route 9D (Bear Mountain Highway)
Garrison 
New York 10524


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